Drapery Hardware Glossary

Arch Window

Window in the shape of a vertical arch, such as an eyebrow window. The wall itself is flat while the window arches upward. Perfect arch windows are those where the width equals twice the height - it's exactly half a circle.

Bay Window

A window consisting of three or more adjacent windows (with angles in between). Typically bay windows project from the building and form an alcove inside. Highland Forge can make bay windows with any number of sides (such as 3-, 5-, and 7-sided bay rods) and to fit any angle.

Bow Window

Windows in the wall of a rounded bay or other round surface, where the curtain rod is to be mounted on the horizontal plane (as opposed to the vertical plane for arch window curtain rods).


Also knowns as Mounts, these are used to attach curtain rods to the wall or ceiling. Can be made in a variety of shapes to accommodate double rods, inside mount rods, rods with returns, etc.

"C" Curtain Ring

A curtain ring with a cutout on the back, thus giving a "C" shape. C-rings are used with Bypass Brackets which allow the rings to smoothly slide past the bracket arm. C-rings looks just like regular rings from the front.

Cafe Mount Curtain Rods

Curtain rods mounted such that only the bottom half of the window is covered.

Ceiling Mount Curtain Rods

Curtain rods mounted from the ceiling. In some applications this may be the easiest/best way to mount a rod. This is the typical setup for shower curtain rods when there are no nearby walls with which to use sockets. A ceiling mounted curtain rod would use a bracket such as the Loop bracket shown here.

Center Bracket

A bracket made with a horizontal backplate, typically only used as middle brackets. The horizontal backplate allows mounting options that a vertical backplate does not, such as when there is limited vertical wall space or when there is a need to mount the rod as low as possible directly above the window trim.


The distance between the curtain rod and the surface on which it is mounted. The most common clearance on a single rod is 3". This wall mount, this means there is 3" from the wall to the back of the rod. For a ceiling mount, this would mean 3" from the ceiling to the top of the rod. Double rods will normally have a clearance of around 2 1/2" for the first rod, and around 5" for the second rod. Variances in clearance depends on rod size, mounting conditions, drapery properties, and personal preference.

Corner Window

A window consisting of two adjacent windows separated by a corner. Often, a single corner curtain rod will work better both physically and aesthetically than two separate straight rods.


The term "Custom-made" refers to products that are manufactured only by the instructions, measurements and materials you specify. Products that are mass produced and then altered to meet your needs as best as possible do not provide the look, quality or level of satisfaction as a custom-made product. Highland Forge builds all products by hand and allows you to specify all product specifications including the finish.


The length of a straight line that runs through the center of a circle.

Double Bracket

A bracket made to hold two rods, for use with a double rod setup. Our double brackets can be made to fit different rod diameters and at different projections.

Eyelet Ring

A curtain ring having a small round hoop on the underside, through which the drapery is sewn or a drapery pin is inserted.


A decorative element attached to one or both ends of a rod that also prevents rings and panels from sliding off the end of the rod.

Inside Mount Curtain Rods

Inside mount curtain rods are rods mounted between two facing surfaces. This type of mounting will normal use the Socket brackets shown left. This type of mount is common with windows having deep recesses, shower curtain rods, and occasionally across the entire wall of a room.


A medallion is a decorative piece made of cast iron or steel which can be used as the ornamental element of a tieback / holdback or bracket.


The diagonal seam joining two pieces at a corner.

Outside Mount Curtain Rods

This is the normal, most common method of mounting a curtain rod. The rod is mounted on the wall above the window, with the rod extending past the edges of the window (overhang).


Overhang is the amount the rod extends past the outer edges of the window trim. A certain amount of overhang is useful so that the drapery does not block the window when the curtains are fully opened. We recommend 3-5" on each side for short rods, and up to 10"+ for long rods. Aesthetics, drapery use and thickness, and rod length are all considerations in determining overhang.

Post Bracket

A curtain rod bracket consisting of a back plate and a post. Post brackets are made specifically for mounting rods with returns.


Half the diameter of a circle.


The window opening frame in which the window has been installed. An installation within the recess, mounted side to side is called an "inside mount".


The ends of a curtain rod that turn back (or "return") toward the wall. Curtain rods with returns allow the fabric to be wrapped around the end of the return to block light. Often times returns are desired aesthetically instead of finials. Rods with returns mount using Post brackets. (Shown is curtain rod with return and post bracket.)


We define span as the distance between two adjacent brackets. For example, a 130" rod using a middle bracket in the center would have 2 spans of 65". A 90" rod with no middle bracket would have a span of 90". Knowing the span(s) of the rod will help you determine what diameter you need. Rods increase in rigidity as they increase in diameter, therefore the longer the span, the larger diameter rod you will need to prevent sag. Fabric weight should also be considered. Detailed information regarding Spans and rod strength can be found on the Rods page.

Tieback / Holdback

An ornamental piece of window treatment hardware attached to the wall on either side of a window. Used to secure panels or drapery to the side of the window opening in a decorative manner. Available in post and hook styles.


A piece of window treatment hardware consisting of a long cylindrical handle with a hook at one end and a ball at the other. Used for adding ease in opening and closing drapes for hard to reach curtain rods.